3127 Interior Rear

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

An interior view of the rear section of Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority PCC “P-3 type” car no. 3127. Image is dated March 28, 1963.
Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

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  • duncan still

    Looking at the interior of the P-3 reminds me of how much nicer the wider aisles were as compared to the aisle width on the earlier PCC’s. At this late date, people may not be aware that the LARY/LATL used to carry many, many people. During rush hours or times when schools let out, there was standing room only on the streetcars. Despite headways of only a few minutes, cars filled up fast. Sometimes, if you were unlucky, the motorman would have the “next car please” sign displayed and you would have to wait a few extra minutes for the next car to come (which might also be full up). The seating capacity of the older PCC’s was 61 people plus maybe an extra 20 or so standees. By the time these cars reached my stop, they were frequenty full of people. Each seat was filled and the standees would be hanging on the poles next to the left hand row of seats or else would be hanging on the support rail on the seat backs. You would literally have to squeeze past these people and get closer to them than you would ordinally care to get. This crowding was even more challenging as the car would approach your stop since you would have to squeeze past everyone again just to reach the exit door, and you’d have to make sure you got to the door and exit before the car started again. Getting back to the P-3’s, the extra aisle width cut down on the amount of squeezing past people significantly. I believe one reason the P-3’s exclusively served the P line was that the Santa Monica bus line brought so many passengers to transfer to the P line at the Rimpau loop that the P cars were often full right at the originating point and these wider cars were the only cars that could accommodate more passengers at the succeeding stops.

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